Report: Sixers to fire coach Jordan
Eddie Jordan and his Princeton offense flunked in Philadelphia.
A person familiar with the decision tells The Associated
Press that Eddie Jordan will be fired Thursday after one season as
Philadelphia 76ers coach.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an
announcement has not been made. Jordan is finished after an
underachieving season that had the Sixers mired near the bottom of
the Eastern Conference. Jordan was hired last summer and sold his
Princeton offense as the way to turn them into contenders.
Instead, players were unhappy with his system almost from the
start. The Sixers finished 27-55 and missed the playoffs for the
first time in three years.
The Sixers will look for their fourth coach in three seasons.
Jordan, who was fired last season by Washington, has two
years left on his contract and is owed $6 million.
The person did not address the status of team president and
general manager Ed Stefanski. Stefanski hired Jordan last May.
Jordan, who starred at Rutgers, had ties with Stefanski from their
four seasons together with the New Jersey Nets.
Jordan said Wednesday he was “not concerned” about his job
security before the Sixers lost to the Magic 125-111 to end the
season. Jordan had said he anticipated a team meeting, player-exit
meetings and taking his staff out to lunch on Thursday.
“If you want to be judged alone on the record, then we are
where we are,” Jordan said. “But as far as track record, as far as
how the league works, as far as evaluating your personnel, maybe we
need more time.”
He won’t get any more.
Jordan’s dismissal had been widely speculated for months. His
hire was panned by fans and media from the day he arrived and the
players never warmed to the Princeton offense.
Marreese Speights, Thaddeus Young and Lou Williams were among
the promising core of young players whose progress took a major
step back this season. Elton Brand hasn’t performed up to the $80
million contract Stefanski gave him two summers ago, Samuel
Dalembert was his usual erratic self and Andre Iguodala continued
to prove he can’t carry the franchise.
The decision to bring back former franchise great Allen
Iverson was a short-lived bust.
“The talent is there, it is just a matter of putting it all
together,” Iguodala said Wednesday.
Philadelphia was the Eastern Conference’s No. 6 seed last
season, eliminated in the first round by the Magic in six games.
Now the Sixers are headed for the draft lottery. Their only key
loss was point guard Andre Miller.
“They judged the team from their performance last year and
the personnel lost,” Jordan said. “Obviously, the personnel
changed, maybe, maybe expectations should change. Maybe.”
Brand was healthy for the first time in three years, but the
power forward who was once a 20-10 regular, was often benched for
long stretches and crucial fourth quarters. Jordan openly
criticized Brand and Dalembert’s effort and missing defensive
awareness after a loss last week.
“There were times things happened (under Jordan), but it was
a feel-out process during the season,” Brand said after Wednesday
night’s game. “That is understandable and didn’t work that well for
us as the record indicates.”
No one expected the Sixers to contend for the Eastern
Conference title. But this kind of steep dropoff was a surprise.
This move could be seen coming in January when Stefanski
refused to say Jordan’s job was safe for the rest of the season
with the team off to a 10-25 start, nor did he offer a single word
of praise for his first-year coach.
Jordan had a 230-288 record as coach of the Washington
Wizards and Sacramento Kings, but Stefanski gave him a three-year
Stefanski now has to wonder if he’ll be the one calling the
shots on the next coach.